Smutty Fitness: Late night eating

July 24, 2014 14:36:35 Posted at July 24, 2014 14:36:35
Hayley Posted by Hayley
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Hi Hayley,
I work in a busy bar 4x/week. My hours are 5:30pm to between 12 and 3am.  I bring a large salad to work with protein and fat in it, that I snack on when I can.  I am wondering if, for my schedule is it ok to eat at night when I get home if I am hungry.  I track my calories throughout the day, and I usually am quite under all my caloric goals by the time work is finished.  I know eating late at night is usually a big no-no but is this an exception? Also, some nights I am just too tired and go to bed without a snack, even when I have not consumed enough calories for the day. Is that bad too? I am confused! 
Thank you tons, -R

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You are working a 10 hour day and expecting a salad to be enough fuel for your body to survive that?  You need to find a way to consume more calories in your night at work, like anyone who works long hours, so you do not have to go home and eat right before bed. Although it is not a bad thing to snack before bed, or go to bed hungry, I feel with a little bit of planning you can change that habit.

The salad sounds healthy but I want you to make it as full of nutrients as possible. Add a healthy grain, such as kamut or quinoa, to the salad as well as nuts, seeds, hemp hearts and cheese and use a homemade dressing of olive oil and vinegar.

Pack healthy snacks with you as well that you can nibble on throughout your busy night, like nuts and dried fruit, or opt for a protein drink. You can buy it in powder form or choose one that is ready made.  MuscleMLK is my go-to as it tastes about as good as a protein supplement can taste and one serving has 25 grams of protein. The Chocolate light version is still loaded with mega protein but the zero sugars keeps the calories low. You can sip on this throughout the night or drink it back in just a few minutes.

Also, you need to keep hydrated. Running around in a busy bar for 10 hours is probably exhausting and if you allow yourself to become dehydrated your body will easily confuse that with hunger so keep a glass of water going at all times.   

Packing something that you can eat while you are closing up the bar or on your way home from work is a must. Hard boiled eggs are a great option, just make sure you peel them before you get to work to save everyone from how bad they smell, and cut up some veggies and fruit so they are ready to go as well as a serving size of almonds on hand. 

Start your day with a healthy, nutritious breakfast and then try and have another larger meal before heading to work which will help you reach your daily caloric requirements and also curb your late night hunger.

If all else fails and you are starving when you get home then give your body what it needs but hopefully by changing a few of your habits you can simply focus on some much needed sleep.

Attached - Ellen Page leaving the gym after a workout last week.

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